An uplifted atoll of Minami-Daito Island, Japan.
Major ions and stable isotopes (δ2H and δ18O) of groundwater at fifteen observation wells, surface water at eight representative lakes and one seawater site were measured to unravel the dominant processes controlling the chemistry of water, its spatial distribution and to identify the salinization mechanism caused by long-term sea-level rise.
New hydrological insights for the region
Rainfall is the main source for groundwater and lake water. Evaporation affects both the ion concentration and the stable isotopes of the lake water. Geochemical modeling suggests that freshwater-seawater mixing is the main process increasing concentrations of Na+, Cl−, Mg2+, and SO42−, whereas dissolution of calcite and dolomite increases concentrations of Ca2+, Mg2+, and HCO3− in groundwater. Fresh groundwater and lake water (i.e., Cl− < 500 mg/L) are largely distributed along a SW-NE direction, but they have been reduced since the 1970s. Sea-level rise causes an increase in the salinity of lake water by flowing through fractures being connected from lakes to the northern coast, then spreading to other lakes through the artificial channels built in the years.